23 Sep, 2020
We already know that art and culture have a great impact and play an important role in our society. Art is part of our culture and both are fundamental to boost our creativity in the various stages of life. Now, on this article we will discuss more about the impacts and importance of art and culture related in education.
Over the last several years, art education has been cut from the curriculum in many schools. The argument used from those school boards says that the decision to cut arts from the curriculum is because the activity was considered useless and a waste of time - the arts activities comprises of music, art, theater, and more.
However, arts education is not useless, as some of these schools may have thought. It has come to be known that arts play a vital role in young learners’ studies. Some professors have started using theatre and music and to teach some subjects, and it has proven to work. Some of other practices used through arts education are: Literature and poetry, storytelling, visual arts education in film, craft, design, digital arts, media and photography.
In regard to culture, supporting and stimulating the union between culture and the educational process aims to strengthen and stimulate the critical think of individuals, so that they become aware of the diverse cultural origins that support their own existence. Encouraging and facilitating this journey since the beginning of the school period will tend to train citizens with greater knowledge and respect for their own origins, helping them to seek continuous improvement of their own competences so that growth is experienced collectively.
Now it is time to take a closer look on how they can impact the education system and its benefits.
The Impacts of Art and Culture on Children's Learning Process
Drawing, dance, theater, music, painting and other forms of expression are considered by many to be only recreational activities with no value or importance on the kids’ development. However, art and culture in early childhood education are fundamental disciplines, as they contribute to the integral development of the child. Let’s take a look on some of the benefits of implementing both on children’s learning process:
Art and Socio-Emotional Development
Young children feel a sense of emotional satisfaction when they are involved in making art, whether they are modeling with clay, drawing with crayons, or making a collage from recycled scraps. Deciding what they will make and what materials they will use may be the first opportunity children have to make independent choices and decisions.
Critical reading, self-knowledge, expressing emotions, creativity, sensitivity, autonomy and recognition of differences are skills - called socio-emotional - that are strongly stimulated by these practices.
Artistic education in childhood encourages self-awareness and recognition of the other as an equal valuable person, but with different characteristics. Knowledge allows us to unravel the world around us and learn about our own history. Art is a way of reaching human knowledge, once the history of art walks together with the history of the humankind and the understanding of its subjectivity.
Art and Cognitive Development
Artistic activities also stimulate children's cognitive development. That is why art teaching has been present at school since its first stages. Younge kids enjoy the feeling of different materials, movements and textures. Realizing the variety of colors, shapes, sizes, positions and symbols that make up the world and expands our horizons, which means increasing our universe of possibilities for knowledge and interpretation of the world around us.
In general, human beings learn through associations. We are always connecting things. New concepts are linked to experiences and knowledge acquired previously. If there is no type of reference, this association may not happen, and learning is impaired. This is where art can emerge. Artworks can be the foundation for children's later use to symbolize objects and actions.
Art and Motor Development
Art activities goes further. Besides being part of the natural process of cognitive development, it also helps the motor development of the little ones. Arm movements when painting or drawing on an easel or on paper increase coordination and strength. The movements of the fingers, hands and wrists necessary to cut with scissors or model clay develop motor skills and control. With daily practice, children start to gain confidence in the use of tools to make art and, later, to write.
Making art also helps children to develop visual-motor coordination. When kids decide how to make the parts fit together, or what details to include, they learn to coordinate what they see with the movements of the hands and fingers. This eye-hand coordination is essential for many activities, especially during the writing learn process for forming letters and spacing words.
All activities that involve children in the production and enjoyment of art have a very positive impact on their lives. In other words, the study of art in early childhood is important because it allows the child to know ways to express his intimate feelings and at the same time to develop his intellectual and motor skills that are fundamental to life at very early.
Arts-Based Learning Ideas
Now that we know more about the importance and benefits of inserting art and culture subjects in the children's school curriculum, how about getting tips on art-based activities to work at school and even at home? Here are some ideas:
- Offer free drawing and painting experiences - spontaneously;
- Work with storytelling - encourage kids to build, narrate and stage their own stories to explore their imagination and creativity;
- Often plan visits to museums and local theaters;
- Invite indigenous villages and quilombos representatives of these cultures to school to talk about them and share curiosities;
- Arrange days for listening to unknown or different musical styles;
- Provide bodily expression workshops;
- Take advantage of traditional or local festivities, like Festa Junina, Carnaval, etc. to get to know expressions, typical foods and organize artistic presentations;
- Encourage contact with poetic language and the creation of collective and individual poetry.
Conclusively, art education plays a central role in improving students’ performances. It builds creativity in ways that enable them to develop unique means of handling an unusual situation. Art in education also ensures that learners develop persistence in their studies and remain focused.
As you can also read in this article, art and culture in early childhood education are fundamental disciplines and contribute to the integral development of the child. Children will develop skills and competences that have application in many other areas of the curriculum. Most importantly, however, children will also develop an appreciation for the art of other people and cultures and the confidence to express their own thoughts and feelings through art.